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Who Do You Become?

For this week’s blog I am bringing back one that was popular last year. So, this one is from the archives (originally posted May 23, 2017):

Interpersonal conflict tends to bring out parts of us we don’t really like. It may be our attitude, our mannerisms, what we say and how we say it, our facial gestures and so on. Sometimes we seem to replicate the way we saw a parent interact; other times we see the ‘child’ in us or the petulant teenager.

Since we generally learn how to manage conflict through our families of origin (we learn what not to do this way too), it is common that we default to patterns embedded way back when. Through trial and error, schools, peers, etc. we also learn other ways to “be” in conflict and not always effectively. There’s just no rule book!

This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog explores who you become in conflict. It will help to consider a situation you can think of in which you know you transformed into a not-so-great version of you.

  • What was the situation?
  • Who did you ‘become’ in that interaction?
  • In what ways?
  • How might you describe the way of “being” you became in detail?
  • What brought on that way of reacting? How is it a “default” reaction for you (if it is)?
  • What did you like about who you became? What didn’t you like?
  • How did the other person respond?
  • How do you wish you had interacted instead?
  • What precluded you from interacting that way (your answer to the previous question)?
  • How might you prevent reacting in ways you don’t like about yourself in the future?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?
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Denialism and Conflict

For this week’s blog I am bringing back one that was popular last year. So, this one is from the archives (originally posted March 14, 2017):

It’s only recently that I heard the term “denialism”, defined by Wikipedia as:

“In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality, as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth.  In the sciences, denialism is the rejection of basic facts and concepts that are undisputed, well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a subject, in favor of radical and controversial ideas.”

I am not sure why it’s a new word for me. In any case, taking the first sentence particularly, it is a good descriptor of what happens to many of us when we are in conflict. This may be evident, for instance, when we hold tightly to our position and do not let in the other person’s truth. We could be denying the situation is dire for us as a defense, i.e. to avoid facing the schism that has grown between us. Then again, we might be obstinate, unrealistic, overly optimistic, or any number of other traits that preclude us from acknowledging the reality of the conflict and its impact.

This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to look closely at a dispute you are having and check out the denialism that may be going on.

  • What is the dispute about from your perspective?
  • What might the other person say her or his perspective is on what’s going on between you?
  • If a third person was listening to and watching you, what might her or his version be of what’s happening?
  • What is the truth you are denying about the dispute?
  • What compels you to deny that truth?
  • What truth about you does the other person not know?
  • What truth might she or he be denying?
  • If you knew the other person’s truth (your answer to the above question), what difference might that make to you?
  • If the other person heard your truth, how might that impact her or him? How might it impact on the outcome of the conflict?
  • How does denying help you? How does denying not help you?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?
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Webinar – Conflict Management Coaching: Coaching Clients Through the Chaos of Conflict

Below is some information on an upcoming webinar I thought you may be interested in, which I am presenting for the Virginia Chapter of the International Coach Federation. You can register at: http://icfvirginia.wildapricot.org/event-3044836

 

Conflict Management Coaching: Coaching Clients Through the Chaos of Conflict

CCEUs:  1 Core

When:  11/5/18, 7pm-8:30pm Eastern

 

Description:

When clients raise concerns about interpersonal conflicts they are experiencing in their professional and personal lives, many coaches find it challenging to know what coach-approach is optimal. Please join our webinar on November 5 when conflict specialist and certified coach Cinnie Noble will share her experience about what she discovered in her research and her coaching practice that helps clients through the chaos of conflict.

Cinnie will discuss her evidence-based CINERGY® model of conflict management coaching (also known as conflict coaching) specifically designed to help clients optimize their ability to engage in conflict and to do so with increased confidence and competence. Considering coaching, neuroscience and conflict management principles in the creation of this model, Cinnie will also share a coaching tool she created that works to increase clients’ insights and broaden their perspectives.

Coaches will learn what distinguishes this form of coaching from others and consider how three coaching competencies – planning and goal setting, establishing trust and intimacy with the client, and questioning skills –support its application.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how a linear coaching model facilitates the way through conflict for our clients.
    • Understand the principles that inform conflict management coaching and specifically the CINERGY® model.
    • Learn what distinguishes this form of coaching.

This course will address the following core competencies:

  • Establishing Trust and Intimacy With the Client
  • Powerful questioning
  • Planning and goal setting
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Say What You Mean

For this week’s blog I am bringing back one that was popular last year. So, this one is from the archives (originally posted January 17, 2017):

You have likely heard the expression “Say what you mean and mean what you say” and there are a number of references to its derivation. One of them may be found in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Come, we shall have some fun now!” thought Alice. “I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles. — I believe I can guess that,” she added aloud.
“Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?” said the March Hare.
“Exactly so,” said Alice.
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least–at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.”
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “You might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!”
“You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!”
“You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!”

Another is from Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hatches the Egg:

I meant what I said,
and I said what I meant
An elephant’s faithful,
One hundred percent.

The words “say what you mean and mean what you say” arise in various occasions in our communications. And when it comes to conflict they have, in my experience, come up when someone perceives another person is not being direct or honest about what she or he has to say. Or, she or he is perceived as misaligning words and actions. Or, the speaker’s words might appear dissonant to the listener. Or, it may even be an admonishment by someone who is urging another to just say what’s on their mind.

There are many reasons why we may not always say what we mean and mean what we say. Fear of offending or of reprisal, confusion, a way to test an idea, politeness combined with an accommodating style and so on. In any case, conflict can result when communications are not altogether clear or due to the apparent mismatching of message and intent.

This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog asks you to consider a time you have not said what you meant and meant what you said.

  • What is the situation?
  • What did you say that wasn’t what you meant?
  • What did you mean?
  • What kept you from expressing that (your answer to the previous question)?
  • What was the other person’s perception, as far as you know?
  • How did it feel – not saying what you meant and meaning what you said?
  • How did it work for you?
  • How did it work against your hopes?
  • On a scale of 1-10, 1 being not at all and 10 being a great deal, how would you rate your desire to have conveyed your message with the intended meaning?
  • What would it have taken for you to say what you meant and be perceived as meaning what you said – if your score for the previous question was more than 1?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?
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Necessary Conflict

For this week’s blog I am bringing back one that was popular last year. So, this one is from the archives (originally posted January 10, 2017):

We may not think the word ‘necessary’ is one that would qualify the word ‘conflict’. However, especially in our interdependent relationships, the importance of raising issues that are important to us – even if they conflict with the other person’s perspective – cannot be overstated. It is, after all, how we discover one another’s values, interests, needs, hopes, expectations and beliefs. If we want our relationships to thrive, sharing these integral parts of who we are is necessary. Otherwise, among other things, our knowledge of and connection to each other is limited and superficial.

All of what I’ve said so far likely makes sense, at least in theory. Even though we accept the above premise, it is often the nature of the delivery of our messages, our receipt of the other person’s, and our response to them that results in high levels of friction and emotions – leaving us questioning the necessity of the conflict. That is, anything necessary to be learned about one another and ourselves in our relationship can be easily missed if we don’t step back early on and consider what we are hearing, what the other person wants us to hear, and what we want the other person to hear about what is important to us.

This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog asks you to consider a dispute with someone that seemed unnecessary and remains unresolved.

  • What is the dispute about?
  • What is unnecessary about it, in your view?
  • What remains unresolved for you? What might remain unresolved for her or him?
  • To what did you specifically react that the other person said or did? How did you react?
  • What important need, value, hope, etc. of yours do you think the other person didn’t hear?
  • To what did the other person specifically react that you said or did? How did she or he react?
  • What important need, value, hope, etc. might she or he have been expressing within her or his reaction?
  • What else might you think is necessary for the other person to realize about you and what upset you?
  • What else might be necessary for the other person – that she or he wants you to realize about what upset her or him?
  • On reflection here, what was necessary about the conflict?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?
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